Dyslexia Awareness Week
Updated: Oct 21
A blog written by our Specific Learning Difficulties Teacher, Ms Unger, about Multisensory Methods and Learning Methods that help our students manage with their dyslexia.
The most engaging lessons use a multisensory, or kinaesthetic, method to make learning more memorable as it engages a range of senses simultaneously, thus stimulating individual senses so that they work together to help us remember.
One of the most engaging lessons I can think of is cooking (which I love) because, when learning to cook, we likely use all of our senses: sight, touch, taste, hear and smell. Cooking is a very memorable experience as it is practical, visual and multisensory.
We can use multisensory and concrete methods in maths, for example, by using a range of resources such as Numicon which many students like to use to help them understand what they are doing with a particular sum; they can see what is happening, rather than it being abstract.
Learning how to spell can feel like climbing Everest and it can be a very slow process to someone with dyslexia. Using colour-coded letters and linking them to the sounds can help, but by making it a multisensory experience, it becomes much easier.
I started my teaching career at a further education college and worked with students with moderate to severe learning difficulties. We used multisensory strategies in every lesson to help the students engage in the lessons and to aid their memories.
As both a Specialist Teacher and Assessor and the Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) teacher for Gretton School, I use a range of resources in teaching to help students learn and be less afraid of trying new methods in their learning.
I am naturally curious and, over the years, I have learned how important it is to observe students and be very patient.
One resource that is very important in my work is my set of coloured overlays. When a child or adult is struggling to read and cannot see the words clearly, due to them moving around, I bring out an overlay screener. What I love is that magical moment when they say ‘the words aren’t moving’ or ‘I can see the words clearly now’. It’s truly wonderful!
I have come across many college students who have struggled for years with a visual difficulty that nobody has noticed, so if I can spot it early on and fix it then it’s a great job done.
Another lovely part of my job is helping to fix a problem for a student (and staff, in some cases) as it lifts their spirits and self-esteem.
Working at Gretton has shown me what a wonderful and resilient team of staff I work with to support our students, their families and each other.